BASC is a global business alliance created to promote international trade in cooperation with governments and international organizations
SOCIACO, CQR member in San Jose, Costa Rica, has received the BASC certificate, a prestigious certificate which is subject to the achievement of the International Security Standards of World BASC Organization. The BASC is an international business alliance created to promote supply chain security in cooperation with government agencies and international organizations.
The BASC was created to address the problem of concealing contraband in commercial trade. As a voluntary program for business, with no government-imposed mandates, corporate participants are expected to follow BASC’s security standards which are designed to significantly improve their security practices and in the process deter contraband smugglers and terrorists from using their companies to introduce contraband and implements of terror in legitimate shipments. The BASC certification is presently operating in 13 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean – Columbia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Dominican Republic, Paraguay, and Venezuela.
In the words of Sergio Mora Campos, Business Development Coordinator of SOCIACO: “Our team is extremely delighted with the fact that our hard work has been duly rewarded. We hope our clients and network partners will now have increased confidence in our capability as one of the most secure logistics company in San Jose, Costa Rica”
Conqueror wants to congratulate CQR San Jose, Costa Rica, for receiving this prestigious certificate!
Our member in Ahmedabad, India, moves a huge ball mill to Kandla port in Gujarat
Sea Freight Shipping and Logistics Pvt Ltd has successfully achieved the transportation of a break-bulk project cargo at Kandla port. The shipment which consisted of a 60 mt stone grinding machine was delivered by the use of 2 low bed axel vehicles with 150 mt load capacity.
The cargo was downloaded and uploaded with the help of an 80 mt vessel operated crane before being successfully transported to the Kandla port of Gujarat. In the words of Manoj Lakhwani, Sales Development Manager of Sea Freight Shipping and Logistics Pvt Ltd, “This has been a significant achievement by our team which would definitely encourage our partners to contact us for shipments requirements to or from Ahmedabad.”
All the best to Sea Freight Shipping and Logistics Pvt Ltd for their outstanding achievement!
“Freight Forwarders can create markets and demand, facilitating the trade cycle all over the world.’’
1. What prompted you to venture into the freight forwarding industry? A. Actually, I started freight forwarding with my elder brother who acquainted me with the alphabets of this business. From 2005 I organized my own setup under the Farasoobar Int’l Forwarder and Shipping Agency flag and have now been in this field for over 28 years. I have been able to explore and show my counter parts how freight forwarders have a very important role in the industry in each country and that it’s not a simple job of just selling freight. Freight Forwarders can create markets and demand, facilitating the trade cycle all over the world.
Q. Can you shed some light on the geographical importance of Iran? A. We have an inherent advantage due to the Persian Gulf’s connection to CIS, Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as to the South Quafqas area and Russia. We have about 670 Km of the coastal border with the Caspian Sea in the North connecting the Bandar Anzali and Amirabad ports to Aktau, Turkmenbashi, and Astrakhan. On the south of Iran we have 1,770 km coastal border connecting the Oman Sea and the Persian Gulf. The unique location of the country makes all modes of transportation (air, sea, road or rail) possible.
Q. Tell us something about the rail network in your country. A. Several rail projects are in the pipeline to upgrade and complete the current railway network infrastructure. Currently we can send shipments by rail from Bandar Abbas to Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan. There are also rail links up to Astara Iran and the Russia rail network is connected up to Astara Azerbaijan and hopefully in the near future the rail connection will be finished between Astara Iran and Azerbaijan. The South Quafqkas rail connection is now possible up to Yerevan and liner containers can be sent from European ports up to Yerevan and then by truck to Iran. We also have rail links to Europe through Turkey’s rail network via our western borders, this also can be connected to the CIS by changing wagons.
Q. Can you give us a concrete example of Iran’s route advantage? A. Well.. When we ship containers from Bandar Abbas to Baku the trucker should drive about 2270 km, out of which 1944 km are in Iran. The same advantage exists for other destinations. The other advantage is that we move containers by the same trailers all the way to their final destination and return empty containers back to Bandar Abbas. This safeguards the goods against multiple loading/unloading in transhipment.
Q. Can you give me some examples of project cargo you have handled in the recent past? A. Please see the following photos of some projects we have handled via Iran to CIS. The latest one consisted of two girders from Bandar Abbas to Baku.
Q. Is customs clearance in Iran normally done in the port for inland bound cargo or can it be done at the final destination, say Tehran? A. Final customs clearing can be done either at the port of arrival or at any domestic inland destination as a bonded shipment, subject to the destination’s customs having the authority to accept the relevant goods.
Rogerio Fadigas is co-founder and owner of Cargofast Logistics do Brasil Ltda., Conqueror’s exclusive agent in Sao Paolo. With Brazil hosting the two biggest sporting events in the world, the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup over the next 4 years, we wanted to find out first-hand what the impact of organizing and holding these events is having on freight forwarders in the country.
Q. How and when did you become involved in the freight forwarding industry?
A. Back in 2004, after working for 24 years in various ocean shipping lines, it became apparent to me that this segment of transportation was limited to basically a “port to port” range offering, whilst, worldwide, customers were looking for support from a broader scope of services (door deliveries and pick up, customs brokerage, airfreight, LCL consolidation, etc.) which ocean carriers were either not able to offer or not able to carry out well. In addition to that, customers were and still are, lacking a more knowledgeable, professional, dedicated and “humane” approach from ocean carriers. So to me, the freight forwarding industry looked like a great opportunity and a perfect match for my personality as it was much more about having a helpful, supportive and problem solving attitude to customers unlike a great ocean carrier full of bureaucracy, inflexibility and 9-5 office hours. It was in August 2008 with my three partners that we founded Cargofast Logistics do Brasil Ltda.
Q. What makes Cargofast different to other freight forwarders in Sao Paulo?
A. I think it’s our 40 years of expertise and knowledge of logistics in Brazil and international transportation coupled with timely communications and the aim of serving our clients and agents with professionalism, competitive costs, and the highest quality of service.
Q. Brazil is hosting the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic games. What effects are the planning and organising of these events having on the freight forwarding industry in Brazil?
A. There has been a considerable increase in shipments to Brazil related to these events, particularly in Breakbulk and Project Cargo which we are also specialized in and have been able to secure ourselves or been granted to us by agents worldwide. We expect that as the dates of these events get closer, we will see an increase in our air freight quotations and shipments.
Q. What part is Cargofast playing in the setting up of these events?
A.Besides the Breakbuk and Project Cargo shipments, there has been an increase in our Customs House Broker activity as importers have looked for help on cargo classification codes for their goods in order to avoid paying fines or having their goods put on hold by Brazilian Customs in case of wrong declaration.
Q.What legacy will these events leave Brazil and the freight industry there?
A.Despite the positive impact with upgrades of several airports (some of them have been privatized recently in order to speed up improvements and capacity), construction of new roads and refurbishment of old stadiums have been supported by a multi-million dollar budget, sadly we see that hospitals and schools for the poorer in society lacking investment and any support from these events.
Q. What do you think Cargofast will look like after these two events?
A. Well in 4 years, we will certainly have hired more people in our Ocean, Air, Customs Brokerage, Project Cargo and Trucking departments. These new collaborators will have received training and expertise which will put Cargofast in a stronger position in the market, serving our partners and customers with a greater quality of service.
It is clear that Cargofast is experiencing a boom in its business which is sure to continue over the next 4 years. The result is sure to be that the company will have an even greater position in the international market.
Alpha Shipping became Conqueror’s exclusive agent in Durban, South Africa back in October 2012. Once they had had time to settle into the network, we decided to sit down with Director, Richard Brook-Hart, to find out more about the company.
Q. Could you tell me a little about the history of Alpha Shipping?
A. Back in 2004, I met with the directors of Maruba, the Shipping Line. At the time they were planning a container liner service between the Far East and South America, and we subsequently decided to jointly open an agency office in South Africa. When the SEAS service commenced in June 2005, we established Alpha Shipping as a small liner agency. At the same time, we also developed a freight forwarding operation representing several overseas companies. By 2009, we had offices in Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town, employing 27 staff. However, in the third quarter of 2009, the global debt crisis hit shipping, and within a matter of months, Maruba was forced to suspend almost all their services.
This left Alpha Shipping without its main source of revenue, so we had to rapidly rethink our strategy. We decided to expand the freight forwarding side using our contacts and knowledge from the liner business and as a result were able to keep our staff and our good name. In 2010, we bought out Maruba’s shares and became an independent privately owned company. In the last three years we have gone from being a single liner agency to a diversified group specialising in freight forwarding, NVOCC, leasing containers (we have some 300 owned units on lease) and we have leased in some 200 units for our operations.
Q.What makes Alpha Shipping stand out from the freight forwarding crowd in South Africa? A.Our word is our bond. Our clients and partners know that when they ship or do any kind of business with us, we give full transparency and our dealings are always ethical and professional. This mode of thinking is engrained into our staff, and the result is that they take pride and satisfaction in their work, which reflects well on them and Alpha Shipping’s reputation.
Q. On your website, it states that ‘Company policy is to promote education and staff training.’ Why do you feel that this is so important? A.Staff training is essential. Yes, it costs money, but it saves in the long run as it reduces errors. Empowering staff with knowledge gives them the confidence to speak to clients, principals, and service providers with assurance and offer the right advice. All our staff members are put through the ‘Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers’ courses. Even those who are not directly involved with shipping, such as accounts clerks, should at least undertake the basic ‘Understanding Shipping’ course. Being a Fellow of the ICS, and Chairman of the South African Branch of ICS, I continually encourage all people in shipping to do these courses. It doesn’t matter if they work for our competitors; we need to educate everyone to a high standard.
Q. What would be the most memorable shipment you and your team have handled?
A. Memorable shipments can often be for all the wrong reasons. Here is one notable example: When we were informed by the carrier that the vessel carrying several containers of soccer shirts and boots for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa was bypassing Durban due to port congestion and continuing straight to West Africa, we knew a disaster was imminent. The vessel’s agent said it was out of his hands, so we phoned the Line Manager of the shipping line in the Far East in the middle of the night, and told him it would be the worst publicity he would ever receive in his shipping career. We then independently arranged with the port to get an emergency berth, persuaded the shipping line to turn the ship round, which was now well on its way to Lagos, and discharge the containers. Fortunately, the shipping line agreed! The cargo was discharged and the World Cup went ahead on schedule. To this day, we still think the client had little idea of the lengths we went to rescue the situation, but that is all part of shipping and sometimes you just have to do these things.
Q.Alpha Shipping is one of our newer members, joining us in October 2012. What attracted you to join Conqueror as opposed to other networks?
A. We are members of other networks and do business with non affiliated freight forwarders, but one day we got fed up with always being the one who nominated the cargo, and getting nothing in return. We decided to join a group which promised more reciprocity and looked professional.
It is clear that CQR Durban runs a tight ship and that any and every shipment is safe in their hands.
We welcome all agents requiring assistance with shipments in South Africa to get in touch with the Alpha Shipping team.
Trans Air Cargo, CQR Bangkok, was founded back in 1979 by Mr Keree Chaichanavong (Managing Director) and Mr Siri Vorapongsathorn (General Manager). Recently, TAC’s Overseas and Projects Manager, Kantorn Lertchirakarn, told us about the company’s success and some of the more unusual shipments that they regularly handle.
Q.TAC has been ranked in the top 5 freight forwarders in Thailand for the past 15 years, which is very impressive! How have you maintained this position so consistently?
A. We deal with all market sectors and handle all kinds of different products. Our team understands that every single shipment, regardless of size, is crucial to the company’s survival. It is as important for us to protect and keep our existing partners, as it is for us to find new ones.
Q.You used the word ‘partner’ there to describe your clients. What do you mean by that and how is the idea of them being ‘partners’ manifested in the approach you and your team take when dealing with customers?
A. It’s vital that we all bear in mind that each and every customer is a business partner. We want to build lasting relationships and create customer confidence, so we show a willingness to serve and assist in whatever way we can. The growth and success of their businesses are crucial to us because without them, we cannot grow and succeed.
Q. TAC specialises in the handling of some of the more unusual shipments out there. Could you tell us a little about those?
A. TAC specialises in handling live animals, perishables, frozen food and automobiles. We have also shipped filming equipment to the sets of some major blockbusters including James Bond, Rambo, Alexander, The Beach and Stealth.
Q.What would be your most memorable shipment?
A. Well, live animal shipments are always fairly memorable! Over the years we have shipped horses, elephants, white whales and crocodiles, to name but a few. The most memorable though would be the largest single ‘live animal’ shipment we have handled; 3,000 live crocodiles weighing 114 tons from BKK to Guangzhou on a chartered Cathay Pacific Airways 747 freighter.
Q. With such a variety of services the future must be bright! What do you see the next decade holding for TAC?
A. Having the reputation for providing outstanding tailor-made logistics solutions coupled with excellent customer service is one thing, but maintaining that reputation is vital as well. We are also working on a joint warehousing and logistics venture which once completed will extend the services TAC can offer.
With such a wide skills-set, TAC can only go from strength to strength. We welcome all members with shipments to/from Bangkok, to get in touch with the TAC team.
Aeromar Logistics Ltd prides itself on living up to its motto, ‘Anytime, Anything, Anywhere!’ In this story the emphasis is really on the ‘anything.’ If there is one kind of shipment that freight forwarders are known to shy away from, its perishables. To be honest, I don’t blame them; there are far easier ways to make a quick buck! But CQR Ahmedabad is not one of those and they regularly handle every step of the shipping process for these kinds of perishable shipments.
One of their most recent perishable shipments consisted of 918 Kg of live fruit plants which the team had to ship to Ethiopia by the airline Emirates. The Aeromar team took care of the custom clearance of the plants as well as all the product related documentation, including the Phyto Certificate and the Certificate of Origin.
When speaking with CQR Head Office, General Manager, Dhaval Shah, said, ‘This kind of shipment, although rare for some forwarders, really is another day at the office for us. Our expert staff ensure a personalised timely service to even the most obscure locations.’
Phuket- a staggering 90 members from the world’s first virtual freight network, Conqueror, gathered for its inaugural conference, 23rd-25th May
An unprecedented number of delegates for a first conference, 90 in total from 40 countries, made the journey to Thailand. “Considering what other networks have managed at their initial conferences, this number is a great achievement,” said Antonio Torres, the brains behind this one of a kind freight forwarding network.
This one off Virtual Multinational is paving the way for a new generation of networks which want to mobilize independent freight forwarders to work together as global mega-forwarders. This desire to join forces was evident at the conference as members vied for each others time across every aspect of the conference. “At the heart of Conqueror is mutual cooperation,” explained Torres. “Without it, the network simply would not function.” The 3-day conference provided over 1,600+one-to-one meetings to enable members to strengthen this cooperation. “One perk of Conqueror’s focus on cooperation, is that all the members do business with a give and take attitude,” said one member. “This cooperation is made even easier by each of us being the only agent in our city which, of course, cuts out all competition. What’s left is a desire to work together.”
Conqueror is aiming to set up an exclusive virtual branch in each of the 472 major cities in the 175 countries it has identified. This is clearly one of Conqueror’s charms. “I can provide global coverage, under a common global brand as if I am part of a multinational and, more importantly, work with agents I trust,” said one satisfied delegate.
Global Freight Management (GFM) and its subsidiary jets4pets, is the brainchild of Martin Bland. While most freight companies are founded for handling conventional cargo, Martin decided to target non-traditional cargo as GFMs niche area. And that is why, while providing high-quality services for general cargo, their company is, at the same time, highly adept at handing a box that is “not just a box”. In a special interview with CONQUEROR Martin Bland shares interesting facts about his company and GFM’s unique success formula.
Q: When did you enter the freight forwarding industry? What instigated you to do so? A: After having held highly responsible roles in cargo handling companies and important airlines for almost 16 years, I felt motivated and driven to start my own venture. Since there were not many organizations dedicated to handling sensitive cargo, I decided to start a company specialized in handling all items that can be labelled “sensitive,” backed by 24×7 customer support.
Q: What kind of shipment does your company handle? A: Like all forwarders, the range of shipments we handle is diverse. Our daily traffic comprises a wide range of both general and sensitive shipment; like live animals, fish for human consumption, cut flowers, etc. We also deal in regular courier, automotive and footwear shipment.
Q: When did GFM start jets4pets? What was the motivation behind this initiative? A: Jets4Pets was formed shortly after I founded GFM. From my prior experiences, I knew how distraught airline passengers get when they are informed that their beloved pets cannot travel with them due to incorrect documentation or discrepancies in container specification. I had always known that I have to do something to help such pet lovers.
Q: Could you please tell us more about jets4pets and how it is managed? A: At Jets4pets our animal-loving staff is dedicated towards safe delivery of pets to their desired destinations. This can imply door-to-door service but generally deliveries are required to be made to airports or quarantine facilities. We take care of the pets as our own and provide great care to them while they are under our guardianship, including high-quality veterinary assistance.
Q: Could you share with us any unique shipment experience? A: I think I can safely say we have several to our credit! Just recently we worked in alliance with other organizations to ship 13 lions from a Romanian zoo. We have also shipped part of a huge iceberg and relocated an entire house. The latter was a highly complex job because it did not merely involve shipping the contents of a house but moving entire kitchen, bathrooms, flooring, tiling, furniture, etc. On a smaller and jester scale, we have worked on reuniting a set of false teeth with its owner.
Q: What is your formula for success? A: Our formula for success is providing high quality 24×7 customer support and treating every shipment as our own. We also lay great focus on establishing personal relationships with our clients; understanding their needs to our best and then providing services that go above their expectations – and all at a fair and reasonable cost.
With this formula for success GFM is sure to go a long way! If you too share their ethics and success formula, feel free to get in touch with GFM!
Virtual multi-national to build an “aristocracy of freight forwarders”
Less than a week after its launch, the recruitment drive for the world’s first “virtual multinational” freight forwarders alliance has already netted scores of pre-applications, hundreds of website hits and requests for information.